UTSA’s perfect 15th season ended with a blast in North Texas
Denton, Texas – An undefeated season slipped away from UTSA’s No. 15 on a rain-soaked Saturday in the Dallas area.
Roadrunners don’t seem terribly surprised.
Whether he’s dropping three steps early with a slick ball or playing a hot opponent after a week of staying fit at the last minute, UTSA coach Jeff Traylor sensed the odds were getting worse.
North Texas backs DeAndre Torrey and Ikaika Ragsdale combined for five touchdowns while UTSA quarterback Frank Harris was a two-turned and not playing after halftime on the 45-23 track for the Roadrunners.
“I think it’s human nature that we probably haven’t been as lively as we were last week,” Trellor said, referring to the 34-31 win over the UAB. “But it wasn’t such a bad effort. They were ten and we probably played eight. And you flip it three times in the weather, you’d be embarrassed, which we did today.”
UTSA (11-1, 7-1 Conference USA), which did not start with more than five consecutive wins in the program’s first nine seasons, still hosts a conference championship game Friday night against Western Kentucky or Marshall. No. 1 Georgia and fourth-seeded Cincinnati are the two remaining undefeated teams from FBS.
“No one wants to go unbeaten more than we did,” Traylor said. “So this hurts really badly. But we still have everything to play for.”
The Roadrunners, ranked 10th nationally in rush defense, have given up six touchdowns on the floor all season. North Texas (6-6, 5-3) matched that late in the third quarter of a fifth straight win that followed a six-game losing streak.
Mean Green earned pot eligibility in the first game a top 25 team played at their 10-year-old court.
A freshman sophomore, Ragsdale had a career high of 146 yards and two touchdowns as the North Texas Conference’s leading dash attack finished 340 yards a week after UTSA allowed its previous season high at 220 in another victory. seconds on UAB.
Torrey’s third and final TD round was a staggering 19 yards as he broke a background interference and slashed between two other defenders while still behind the line. He finished the race with 108 yards, easily outsmarting UTSA’s Sincere McCormick (60 yards) in a match between two of FBS’s top 10 active forwards.
The Roadrunners were called in to pass interference in their first defensive play, fumbled on a kickoff after leading North Texas to an opening field goal and failed two kicks, losing possession on the first. UTSA has six allergens in general.
“I did my best to prepare these guys,” Traylor said. “And I didn’t get them ready. We’re so embarrassed by our performance.”
Harris pulled a 69-yard touchdown from the UTSA within 17-13 in the second quarter, but the top player later lost to a confusion when he dropped the smoothball trying to make a quick throw in third. Tori’s impressive 19-yard result came two games later as part of a 28-point winning streak for UNT.
Josh Adkins replaced Harris to start the second half, but the Road Runners were hopelessly behind before the offense was finally moved back 56 yards by Brenden Brady early in the fourth quarter.
UTSA: No matter the wet conditions, the Roadrunners didn’t protect their quarterbacks. The Mean Green had five bags of Harris and Adkins, both of whom had been running from quick pressure the other times.
North Texas: Coach Seth Littrell’s future was in question after a losing streak that put Maine Green at 1-6. Not much now that the NFL improved to 2-47 against ranked opponents. The only other victory was a 14-9 at No. 20 at San Diego State on November 2, 1974, at the old Footes Field, which was across the highway from the new stadium. Lietrile 37-37 in six seasons.
The repercussions of the opinion poll
Six weeks after being ranked number one in program history, UTSA appears to be in line to stay in the poll for at least another week. College Football Playoff rankings are another story. Roadrunners were discarded in the first week and number 22 on the current list. They will likely be out of order again.
Trellor said Harris’ health was not the reason Adkins took over in the second half. But he was evasive about positioning his apprentice moving forward.
“Frank’s stature is worrying every day because of the way he practices, the way he plays,” Traylor said. “It was a game time decision every night I coached him. It’s always a game time decision, but the sucker is always there. He was crushed and I took him out of the game. I mean, screaming, my head on my shoulder.”
UTSA: The winner of the Western Kentucky-Marshall team advances late Saturday to the conference championship game.
North Texas: The Mean Green will be waiting for word on a bowl show that wasn’t even as of a month ago.
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